Story November 22, 2022

20 moments we’re grateful for

Although 2022 is winding down, we’re still finding reasons to celebrate our 20th anniversary. During this time of the year, we reflect on the things we are proud of, what we look forward to, and of course, what we are grateful for.

So much has happened since our founding, and the moments in our shared story are what we find ourselves most thankful for, from the countless people who left their imprints on our hearts to the milestones we’ve accomplished, such as reaching 20 years of service to the San Diego community.

From our team’s heart to yours, here are 20 moments that inspire us to feel deep gratitude:

1. Seeing the joy and excitement on the faces of library users as they stream into a new library never gets old, like during library openings at the Logan Heights, Central Library @ Joan Λ Irwin Jacobs Common, Skyline Hills, San Ysidro, and Mission Hills-Hillcrest/Knox Libraries.

2. Watching the pride of more than 120 Career Online High School graduates as they received their high school diplomas and hearing how this program brings them one step closer to their dreams. Amina Muday said it best in the difference the program made in her life. Yes, we regularly shed a few tears of joy during these moments.

3. Engaging with the thousands of library supporters who made the Library Foundation’s 20th anniversary and impact possible.

4. Opening the Library Shop SD nine years ago and bringing the learning and engagement opportunities the Shop has for library lovers, like author talks, Where’s Odi, and the Matchbook Story Contest.

5. Launching the Library NExT (Network of Education x Training) program and helping spark the next generation of engineers and scientists. We just know, in our heart of hearts, that the next Nobel laureate is among us…

6. Helping launch Bibliocommons. This service changed library patrons’ online experience, made searching the catalog and getting book recommendations easier, and is instrumental in increasing circulation rates.

7. Supporting the library in partnering with healthcare organizations to 3D-print needed PPE during the early days of the Covid pandemic. At a time when supply was a serious issue, seeing this partnership firsthand at such a critical moment was inspirational.

8. Opening the first IDEA Lab and seeing the network of innovation spaces grow to five locations with more on the way. Our favorite creation may be the prosthetic hand engineered and printed in a library lab.

9. Opening the OliverMcMillan I CAN! and Binford I CAN, Too! Centers at the Central Library @ Joan Λ Irwin Jacobs Common to provide services, programs, resources, and professional assistance for adults and children with disabilities in a safe and comfortable environment.

10. It’s all about the people, so seeing the enthusiasm of young learners like Julieta Guzman remembering her feelings when reading her favorite books is contagious regardless of our age.

11. It really IS all about the people, so getting the opportunity to support the life-changing impact libraries make on communities and individuals like Jeffrey Scarlett, who turned his life around with library help, allowed us to appreciate the work we do every day.

12. Did we say it’s all about the people? Because experiencing the impact a new library can have on people like Adrianna during the opening of the San Ysidro Library sends happy chills down our spine.

13. It’s also about honoring the people like Library Foundation founding-chair Jim Dawe, who made this ongoing impact possible. Mr. Library” and his legacy inspires us today!

14. Partnering with the amazing library staff and their impact on every community. Former New York Library President Timothy Healy said it best, The most important asset of any library goes home at night – the library staff.“ Hear hear!

15. Befriending amazing partners and supporters like Gus Magee, who believe so passionately in the mission of the library. Gus has been a library champion for 30 years and was instrumental in evaluating possible locations for a new central library which would become the Central Library @ Joan Λ Irwin Jacobs Common.

16. Working alongside the Friends of the San Diego Public Library, who’ve helped us meet the city’s $1 million match program for 17 straight years. 17!

17. Building a partnership with elected leaders who believe strongly in the library’s mission and helped add $2.1 million in critically-needed new resources to the library’s budget last fiscal year. It really does take a village.

18. Expanding the rare books collection and the library’s ability to share these materials digitally. Why are miniature books, fore-edge painted books, and 4,000-year-old Cuneiform tablets so cool? Visit the Hervey Family Rare Books Room to find out.

The Hervey Family Rare Book Room houses the Wangenheim Rare Book Collection of over 9000 items, including a teeny book collection!

19. Interacting with the 8,000 San Diegans who chimed in about what they want from their library in Phase One of the creation of the Library Master Plan and those who are now joining us for ongoing listening sessions to tell us what they love, want to change and want to add to their library.

20. Working with the latest crew of interns who found a passion for and possible career in media arts thanks to the library, Library Foundation, and Media Arts Center.